Natural Health Bill back from select committee

We are happy to see the Natural Health and Supplementary Products bill has passed its next hurdle with the select committee reporting back yesterday, and now will be returning to the house. Some might remember Sue Kedgley supporting industry objections to Labour’s proposal to hand over our regulator powers on Natural Health to Australia. Sue oversaw the introduction of the legislation, which ensures that regulation will remain within NZ.

Since picking up this portfolio,  I have been working hard in Select Committee, and through the MOU process, to ensure we get the best outcome we can.

Along the way we have made some good wins including:

  • A list of approved pharmacopoeia that can be used as a source of traditional evidence for health benefit claims. This will make things much easier for product notifiers to provide evidence to support their claims as will now be required under the bill,
  • Exemption for homeopathic products from product notification,
  • Clauses to guide the authority’s setting of fees,
  • Natural Health experience and expertise on the advisory committee,
  • Government funding to help with the initial set up and post-market costs.

National has agreed to keep the Green Party closely involved in the regulation making process. This will enable us to keep working to ensure we get good outcomes that fairly balance consumers right to access natural health products that are safe, accurately labelled and true to claim without being overly onerous on the industry.

11 thoughts on “Natural Health Bill back from select committee

  1. I don’t think that the exclusions for homoeopathic remedies or the “traditional” evidence clauses should be included. Homoeopathic “medicine” differs from something that would fail 4C only by not containing any active ingredients (or so few that it’s effectively pointless) rather than a large amount.

    Likewise, “traditional evidence” could be viewed as “My Grandmother said…” anecdotes, which cannot be used as supporting evidence for any claim.

  2. I absolutely think homeopathics should be excluded.

    Personally, they aren’t for me. However even as a placebo they have a 50% chance of working and if someone wants to pay for that, that’s their call. I might if I were desperate and I know other people swear by them (placebo working again and again? Perhaps…) I seriously doubt they can harm anyone.

  3. Congratulations, Mojo and Sue, for putting a lot of time and effort into getting some good results, awesome!

  4. Matt – as I understand it, the traditional evidence clause only applies to specific treatments which have already been examined and sound evidence of their effectiveness proved. This evidence would not just be anecdotal.

    Trevor.

  5. While ever we continue to regard modern medicine as the cure all,we will always have terrible health. Modern medicine is ‘the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’. Teach people how to stay healthy and use supplements as they were supposed to be used, as a preventative.

  6. Kz, the problem with placebos is that they don’t work 50% of the time. They only work if there is a psychological component to whatever is affecting the subject (ie: they think they’re taking medicine but aren’t, and end up getting better). It’s similar to how people think that something has made them better when it didn’t via correlation.

    Homeopathic medicine operates purely on the Placebo effect & correlation.

  7. I sincerely hope that vitamins have not been included in the items considered doubtful. Big Pharma in America have been very keen to exclude anything that is not under their control and I do not trust the industry here.

    Bill Wilson

  8. If homeopathic claims to be medicinal then it should be included and be tested for efficacy.

    They can’t have it both ways. If it’s a placebo, it shouldn’t be sold as medicinal. If we’re really aiming to protect consumers, not the industry, then it should be labelled as a placebo. Or, more accurately, “water”

  9. Have you ever seen or felt gravity waves, do you ever experience all levels in the electromagnetic spectrum? The human body is capable of sensing very few of these. Homeopathics dilute herbs until the natural vibration of the active ingredient is released; it is this harmonic that sets to in your body to repair the damage, a bit like a tuning fork, or a piano tuner, to set everything in tune again. That is why people on homeopathic medication need to stay away from techno appliance radiations; these crude outputs negate the sensitive, delicate work of the homeopathics.

  10. Frida, you cannot make an inference that because the effects of gravity cannot be “seen” or “felt” it means that the effects of Homeopathic treatments can’t be seen or felt.

    Lets take a scientific approach.

    Gravity: every time you see something move towards the ground, that’s the effect of gravity, so it’s actually more easily proved than homeopathy. The issue with gravity is that Physicists don’t yet know how gravitational attraction works.

    “Natural Vibrations”: Everything above absolute zero (-273 point something C, or 0 Kelvin) vibrates at an atomic level. Yes, the vibrations will be different, but if this is the vibration you’re talking about then it’s rather ridiculous to assert that the slightly different vibration of herbs, diluted in water, will have any effect on anything else via this vibration.

    If you want to prove that homeopathy actually works then prove it through scientific testing. Enough of all these excuses to get around testing.

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